The Typo keyboard case is not good, but the idea for it may be: it adds a BlackBerry-style physical keyboard to the bottom of your iPhone. In exchange for a taller device, you free up screen real-estate when typing and if you’re an ex-BlackBerry user, you also get the comfort of familiar, clacking buttons. It was too familiar for BlackBerry, which in January sued Typo for patent infringement. The case is ongoing, but this past Friday Judge William Orrick granted BlackBerry a preliminary injunction halting sales of the Typo. In the ruling, Orrick said that BlackBerry had “established a likelihood of proving that Typo infringes the patents at issue and Typo has not presented a substantial question of the validity of those patents.”
Typo, which is backed by Ryan Seacrest, was (ahem) crestfallen by the decision, telling Bloomberg Businessweek that it was disappointed and would “continue to make and sell innovative products that busy people can’t live without.” BlackBerry, which also believes it knows something about making products for busy people, told Re/Code that it was “pleased” and that “while we are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, we will not tolerate the deliberate use of our iconic design without proper permission.”
The lawsuit is just one of several sideshows for BlackBerry, whose CEO John Chen has of late spent time in a cat fight with T-Mobile and publicly decried leakers. The main event for BlackBerry is, for now, restarting production of a nearly three-year-old device — the BlackBerry Bold — because it has been outselling it’s more modern BlackBerry 10 devices by a wide margin. Chen is betting the future of his company on producing newer phones with physical keyboards, so you can expect him to see this Typo case through to its conclusion.